Fan films have long been the ultimate love letter to fandom. A team of people laboring over an adaptation of their favorite property, not held back by the restrictions of Hollywood and production companies, simply doing it because they have a love of film and the source material. We here at Word of the Nerd will be showcasing the very best in these films and shedding light on some you may not know about. Welcome to Fan Film Friday.
We can all agree that Firefly met its demise much too soon with it being cancelled before its first season even aired in its entirety. Luckily, it was a Joss Whedon show, and Joss Whedon does not know when to quit. Years after the Serenity flew for the last time on our television sets, we have been blessed with a media franchise that is second to none. From a fantastic feature film, to a line of comic books from Dark Horse, Captain Malcolm Reynolds and crews adventures have been documented well for all of us to enjoy. But space sure is awfully big, and one has to believe that there may be some other folk soaring the skies that may have an interesting story to tell as well. Loot Crate answered that question with the release of The Verse in 2014, and boy is it shiny.
The Verse shows us a day in the life of the crew of the transport ship OVERLAND on their way to drop off a bounty. Along the way they get hassled by an Alliance ship, have a few engine problems, and then get into a gunfight with an enemy. Any of this sound familiar?
In fact, the main problem with this movie is also the thing that makes it great: there is virtually no difference between the crew of Serenity and the crew of Overland. All the tropes are there. Lovable roguish former military man captain? CHECK. Female character the captain buts heads with an undeniable amount of sexual chemistry towards? CHECK. Mechanic that bemoans every time a problem occurs that they don’t have the credits to fix it. CHECK, but in this case it is a dude.
Let me reiterate though, none of this is a bad thing. For years fans wanted to see more Firefly, so the people at Loot Crate gave them the best they could and they did a goram good job of it. The effects look just as good as the show thanks to the people at Quantum Mechanix (makers of the Firefly mobile game). They helped create models and props for the shoot. The dialogue is just as witty and snappy as ever too.
Everything about this film was handcrafted by fans for fans, it is the literal definition of a labor of love. But it left me wanting so much more, and not more adventures of the OVERLAND, just more adventures in this world. What other stories are out there that can be told that don’t involve these wild west tropes? How cool would a film be about the Alliance, maybe following an Operative as he is out and about trying to restore order? There is a literal universe of people out there with stories to tell, I hope someone tells one that is just as entertaining as this one.